Tenet Group's rollout of a new back-office system has been met with further criticism, with mortgage advisers following through on plans to leave the network in response to the change.
Rob Clark, a director at Simply Life and Mortgages who is no longer with mortgage network TenetLime, cited the introduction of the Intelligent Office system as the reason behind his resignation.
Annelie Ash, principal at Locations Mortgage Solutions, and Unity Mortgages adviser Robert Brudnowski said they had also left the network for the same reason.
Ms Ash said she decided to serve her 12-month notice after learning that the move to Intelliflo software was compulsory, and that it would carry a fee, with the view that she could withdraw her resignation if she thought things improved.
In February 2019 Tenet Group announced it had signed an initial five-year contract with Intelliflo for the provision of Intelligent Office to its network of mortgage and investment advisers.
While Ms Ash said she had now “got to grips” with the system, she described it as “not straightforward” and said she would be leaving the network at the end of the month.
Ms Ash said that leaving fees had been applied to her account at the end of April, without having been informed, although the money was reimbursed “very, very quickly” after a formal complaint.
Mr Brudnowski also said the network did not inform him when his exit fees, which amounted to £10,000, would be charged.
He said of the software switch: “I run a business, I’ve got employees, I’ve got other things to worry about like clients, commission payments, compliance... I was actually waiting because I thought this software was going to help us to run a business, but it put us against the wall”.
Risk to PII cover
Those who have yet to adapt the new system may also face difficulties renewing their professional indemnity insurance cover.
In an email seen by FTAdviser, advisers were warned by TenetLime in May, ahead of its annual PII renewal negotiation, that “from the next renewal period beginning in October 2020, the PII policy terms will be varied to carry an exclusion for any advice event where all the elements of the advice journeys are not properly recorded on [Intelligent Office]”.
According to the email, the network’s “preliminary data gathering [had] indicated that in some instances, members have not fully adopted the best practice Intelligent Office advice journey”.
The network added that it wanted to “avoid the situation where a case is not covered by PII because the full advice journey was not followed in Intelligent Office”.
Locations Mortgage Solutions’ Ms Ash said she was “very glad” to be leaving after the network’s warning to advisers over PII.
She said: “The last thing I’d want to be is an appointed representative of a company that potentially turns around and says, 'Because you forgot to add the client agreement onto the system, you haven’t followed the Intelligent Office process and therefore if there was a complaint, we would not cover you'."